Crockpot Pot Roast

This CROCKPOT pot roast recipe with potatoes and carrots is tender, flavorful, meal-in-one perfection!

This Crockpot pot roast recipe is as good as it gets – no bland pot roast here! It is succulent, hearty, classic comfort food at its finest.  It also just happens to be one of the easiest, juiciest, most flavorful complete dinners ever – AND the slow cooker does all the work!  The crockpot chuck roast becomes incredibly fall-apart tender and SO flavorful from cooking low and slow all day as it drinks up all that brothy, herb infused goodness; and let’s not forget the veggies!  The potatoes and carrots emerge fork tender and dripping with flavor that that is purely intoxicating. The luscious, rich gravy (no sad watery gray here!) is made from the ridiculously flavorful juices and elevates this slow cooker pot roast recipe to sensational new heights. I’ve included some tips and tricks make the BEST crock pot roast recipe as well as how to make ahead, how to freeze and fun ways to use leftovers – should you be so lucky.  

top view of crockpot pot roast with carrots and potatoes

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 Best crock pot roast recipe

There is nothing like opening the front door after a long day and being greeted by the tantalizing aroma of a hearty crock pot chuck roast letting you know dinner is served.   And what a dinner it is!  This crockpot pot roast recipe is an explosion melt-in-your-mouth succulent beef, tender veggies and creamy gravy – all in one bite and SO incredibly easy.    Here is what makes it the best crock pot roast recipe:

Flavor!  I experimented with this slow cooker pot roast several times.  The first time, I kept the ingredients similar to my baked pot roast recipe but discovered crockpot pot roasts require TONS more seasonings or they taste pathetically bland.   The potatoes and the carrots release a large quantity of water which dilutes the flavor of the roast.  The crockpot also doesn’t reduce liquid like the oven method.  In the end, I slathered the chuck roast with a rub of kosher salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder and seared to golden perfection, then created a cooking bath of beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, Dijon mustard and a bevy of hand-picked seasonings: oregano, thyme, basil, and bay leaf. Now this crockpot pot roast is bursting with delectable flavor in every addicting bite.

Thick gravy.  This rich, flavorful gravy will have everyone swooning! Many crockpot roast recipes create a sad, thin, watery “gravy” by adding cornstarch to the crockpot, but this will never thicken the beef broth to a lusciously thick, satisfying gravy which I find essential for any pot roast recipe.  Instead, this crock pot roast recipe uses the simple 3-ingredient technique of melting butter, whisking in flour followed by incredibly flavorful liquid from the crockpot. It takes less than 5 minutes and the payoff is HUGE.

Crockpot does the work.  While roast for dinner looks and sounds elegant, it is SO EASY! The crockpot pot roast cooks all day to juicy tender perfection filling your home with the aroma of anticipation so all that’s left to do is sit down to dinner!  To make the pot roast, all you have to do is sear the chuck roast, prep the veggies and pour over the delectable blend of broth/seasonings, then go about your day and come home to the best crockpot roast and tender potatoes, carrots drenched in flavor!  

Crowd pleaser.  Although this crock pot roast recipe is wonderfully easy, it looks and sounds elegant, perfect for Sunday dinner, company or holidays. It’s like classy comfort food that wraps everyone in its deeply satisfying, fall-apart tender, melt-in-your-mouth, flavorful hug.

Meal-in-one.  This slow cooker pot roast is loaded with hearty beef and tender veggies so it’s a complete meal with no additional sides needed – all made in your crockpot!  You can skip additional sides all together or serve it with no-fuss sides like a simple green salad and bread which can be whipped up while your chuck roast cooks on.

Less Expensive.  This crock pot roast recipe is more expensive than chicken, but far less expensive than dining out.  You can feed the whole family for dinner and enjoy tantalizing leftovers!

Make Ahead. This slow cooker pot roast recipe can be started in the morning and then welcome your bellies at night OR it can be made in advance and reheated because it tastes even better the next day!

Freezer friendly.  You can freeze easy crock pot roast and let it come to the rescue on those busy nights or whenever you’re craving comforting pot roast!

top view of serving crock pot roast recipe on a platter with gravy

what is pot roast?

Now for all the crock pot roast recipe details. You can read on or use the “jump to recipe” button at the top of the page. Pot roast is a braised beef dish made with a large, tough cut of beef such as chuck roast, chuck steak, shoulder steak, chuck shoulder pot roast, chuck seven-bone pot roast, beef chuck arm, rump roast or bottom round.

These less expensive cuts of beef are seared, then slow cooked in a Dutch oven, covered baking dish or slow cooker with liquid, often beef broth and wine along with herbs and vegetables. 

Cooking these cuts low and slow breaks the down the collagen which turns into gelatin tenderizing the meat so it’s fall apart tender and bursting with rich flavor.  The beef further releases its juices into the broth, which combines with flour to create deeply flavorful gravy.

Ingredients for Crockpot Chuck Roast

The BEST slow cooker pot roast recipe starts with simple ingredients in perfect proportions. You will need:

  • Chuck roast:  use boneless chuck roast with rich marbling trimmed of excess fat. Try and choose a cut of beef that is wider and shorter verses long and skinny so it comfortably fits the shape of your slow cooker.
  • Oil: use a high smoking point oil such as vegetable oil to sear the roast and not olive oil.
  • Beef Broth: use low sodium beef broth so we can control the salt level and add salty beef bouillon for more concentrated beef flavor.
  • Worcestershire sauce: adds a depth of complex savory, slightly tangy flavor.
  • Soy sauce:  is my secret weapon, I even add it to my marinara sauce!  It adds additional salty, savory flavor and helps tenderize the beef. Use reduced sodium or the chuck roast beef will be too salty.
  • Dijon mustard:  adds a slight tanginess to awaken the earthy flavors.
  • Dried minced onions:  are dried onions that deliver a concentrated flavor – and save you chopping! They are located next to the other spices at the grocery store. 
  • Beef bouillon:  adds a depth of concentrated beefy flavor.  You may also use an equal amount of better than bouillon. 
  • Seasonings:  we make our own Italian seasoning blend with dried oregano, dried basil, dried thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, table salt and pepper.
  • Garlic:  a combination of fresh garlic and garlic powder delivers optimal flavor in every bite. 
showing how to cook a roast in a crock pot by stirring carrot and potatoes in the crockpot

What is the best cut of meat for pot roast in a crock pot?

If you’ve ever wondered why your crockpot pot roast isn’t emerging buttery tender, it is likely you aren’t using the best cut of beef.  There are many different cuts that can be used for crockpot roast from bottom round, to rump roast, to shoulder roast to chuck roast, but for the best crockpot pot roast, use the boneless chuck roast.

Boneless Chuck roast has a melt-in-your mouth texture and succulent, beefy flavor due to its rich marbling and is considered the Mercedes of roasts. The marbling creates a self-basting effect as it breaks down and drips over the meat, resulting in tender beef every time!

A few notes about the crockpot chuck roast:

  • This recipe calls for 3-5 pounds of chuck roast because the seasonings and liquid are very forgiving – so don’t worry too much about the weight.
  • Use boneless beef chuck roast that is thick cut and not rolled and tied with a string.
  • If you use a larger chuck roast, you may need to cut it into two portions to fit into your slow cooker. If so, take care you sear all sides of each portion.
  • I purchase my chuck roast at Costco, use one roast for this slow cooker pot roast recipe and freeze the other. That way you get to enjoy pot roast NOW and have it stocked and ready for the future for an other roast OR Some of my other favorite beef chuck recipes such as Mississippi Pot Roast, Beef Barbacoa,  French Dip Sandwiches, Italian Beef Sandwiches, Beef Tips and Gravy, and Slow Cooker Beef Stew

how do you season a crock pot chuck roast?

The seasonings in this crock pot chuck roast recipe are one of the key factors that elevate it to a league of its own and make it so utterly divine. As I previously mentioned, it is important to generously season a crock pot roast or it will taste incredibly bland due to all of the extra liquid from the potatoes and carrots which dilute all of the seasonings. 

Both the roast needs to seasoned and the crockpot liquid.  The chuck roast is seasoned with kosher salt, onion powder, garlic powder and garlic cloves sandwiched in the crevices of the meat.  The large grains of kosher salt distribute easily and cling well to the meat’s surfaces as opposed to table salt. If you only have table salt, you will want to use half of the amount or your crockpot roast will be too salty.  The onion powder and garlic powder infuse the roast with aromatic flavor on the outside which is complimented by garlic cloves placed into the crevices of the meat which season the roast from the inside out.

The liquid in the crockpot isn’t just beef broth, but is seasoned with layers of flavor from soy sauce which grounds the sauce and adds a savory, salty depth that enhances the other flavors but doesn’t taste like “soy sauce,” and Worcestershire sauce and Dijon for a subtle awakening tang.  I then use beef bouillon and dried minced onion for a DIY Lipton onion soup along with earthy dried oregano, dried basil and dried thyme, salt and pepper.  The resulting crockpot pot roast is wonderfully flavorful, well rounded and restaurant delicious.

WHAT’S THE BEST POTATO FOR best crock pot roast recipe?

Not all potatoes are created equal.  For recipes in which you would like potatoes to hold their shape (unlike potato soup and mashed potatoes) you need low starch waxy potatoes such as red potatoes, Yukon, new potatoes or fingerling potatoes.  Waxy potatoes do not absorb moisture while they cook so they retain their shape despite extended heat.

Starchy potatoes, such as russet potatoes, should be avoided because they develop a mealy texture and will fall apart.

showing how to make slow cooker pot roast by adding chuck roast, potatoes and carrots to a bowl with gravy

WHAT TYPE OF CARROTS FOR best crock pot roast recipe?

My favorite type of carrots for this slow cooker pot roast recipe are medium, thicker carrots.  You want to choose thicker carrots so they cook up tender but not mushy. Try and choose carrots that are relatively the same size so they cook evenly.

CAN I USE BABY CARROTS? 

Baby-cut carrots that come in the bag would be my last choice for this crockpot pot roast recipe.  I don’t think they have nearly as much flavor when cooked or as an appealing texture. But if they’re your thing, go for it, just make sure you use thick baby carrots and not thin ones.

Can I Add Wine?

You may add ½ cup red wine to this slow cooker pot roast recipe along with the beef broth – but I don’t think it needs it!  No need to reduce the beef broth or other liquid.

Crockpot pot roast recipe Variations

  • Add potatoes: use Yukon Gold potatoes(NOT Russets!), quartered (about 1 1/2-2 inch wedges). Add them on top of the carrots the last 2 ½ hours of baking.
  • Add other vegetables: swap out the carrots for other hearty vegetables such parsnips, turnips, celery, or butternut squash,, or a combination of vegetables.
  • Seasonings: get creative with the seasonings and swap them for Italian, Cajun, Chinese inspired with soy sauce, ginger and Chinese 5 spice, Japanese inspired with soy sauce, mirin, star anise, Mexican inspired with chili powder, ground cumin and smoked paprika or Caribbean inspired with dried oregano, ground cumin, ground coriander, unsweetened cocoa powder and ground cinnamon.
  • Flavorings: feel free to add other flavorings to the braising beef broth such as Dijon mustard, soy sauce, tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar, ketchup, pepperoncini juice, beer, red wine, diced tomatoes, or pepperoncini.

how to cook a roast in a crock pot

Step 1:  Season roast

Trim roast of excess fat then pat it dry with paper towels so the seasonings will stick to it.  Finally, sprinkle roast evenly all over with kosher salt, onion powder, garlic powder and pepper and rub into roast.  Time permitting, allow the roast to rest for 60 minutes to let the salt tenderize the meat. 

showing how to cook a roast in a crock pot by seasoning chuck roast with kosher salt and pepper

STEP 2: Prep vegetables

While the roast is resting, prep your vegetables by washing and drying your potatoes and slicing any large potatoes in half.  Peel your carrots, trim off the ends and chop them into thirds. Transfer vegetables to the bottom of a lightly greased slow cooker.

STEP 3: SEAR ROAST

Sear the roast on all sides to develop flavor and to seal in the juices. I recommend a cast iron skillet because it gets piping hot and cooks more evenly.  If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you can use a quality nonstick pan (if it’s not quality, the high heat can ruin the seal).  Make sure you use vegetable oil because we need an oil with a high smoking point – don’t substitute olive oil.  Make sure you brown the chuck roast on all sides until deeply golden.  You can use tongs or two forks to rotate your roast. 

showing how to cook a roast in a crock pot by seasoning chuck roast with kosher salt and pepper

STEP 4: Transfer roast to slow cooker

Transfer chuck roast to slow cooker on top of the vegetables.  Add whole garlic cloves into the crevices of the roast (usually where there is a seam of fat) on both the top and the bottom.

STEP 5:  add beef broth mixture

In a mediums bowl, or I like to use a large measuring cup because it has a handy pouring spout, whisk together the beef broth, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard and all seasonings; evenly pour over the roast and vegetables.

showing how to cook a roast in a crock pot by whisking together beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and Italian seasonings

STEP 6:  Cook

Cook on low for 8-10 hours (recommended) or on high for 4-6 hours OR until roast is super tender and easily sheds with a fork.  

showing how to cook a roast in a crock pot by cooking chuck roast until tender

STEP 7:  SHRED AND SOAK

Once tender, shred chuck roast into small pieces and continue to cook on low for 20-30 minutes for the roast to absorb juices.  You can also let the beef soak longer at this point if needed for meal planning purposes. You can shred the roast directly in the crockpot or I prefer to remove the beef to a cutting board because it is easier to discard the excess fat.  

The now shredded beef is thin enough to soak up even more flavor in every nook and cranny. This is when the magic really happens and your beef emerges buttery tender and exploding with flavor. 

HOW DO I SEPARATE THE GREASE TO MAKE GRAVY? 

Every crockpot pot roast needs luscious, rich gravy and this gravy is especially fantastic because the braising juices from the slow cooker we use are so flavorful.

To make our easy gravy, we first want to skim off the fat because nothing kills a roast like fatty gravy that separates as you pour and eat. The easiest way to do this is by pouring the slow cooker liquid into a fat separator with a spout.  If you don’t have a fat separator, no fear, you can still separate the fat with a freezer bag!

To separate fat with a freezer bag:

  • Add the slow cooker liquid to the freezer bag.
  • Allow the fat to separate to the top.
  • Seal the bag and hold over a 2+ cup measuring cup so that one bottom corner tip is facing down into the measuring cup like a spout.
  • Make a small cut in this corner with scissors. The bottom liquid will flow through the cut into the bag without the fat and into the large measuring cup.
  • Stop when you reach 2 cups or the fat. Eazy peazy!

HOW TO MAKE GRAVY FOR SLOW COOKER POT ROAST

Now that we have removed the fat from our juices, it’s time to make our gravy:

  1. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Sprinkle in ¼ cup flour and whisk to create a roux. Cook over medium heat, while whisking, until lightly browned, about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Slowly stir in 2 ½ cups juices/broth from slow cooker and bring the gravy to a simmer until thickened. Add additional broth if needed to thin.
  4. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper (although it probably won’t need it!)
showing how to cook a roast in a crock pot by shredding chuck roast in the crockpot

Do you have to brown a roast before putting it in the crockpot?

Technically, you do not have to brown roast before you add it in the slow cooker but I HIGHLY recommend it.  If you don’t sear your roast beforehand, you will miss out on the complex caramelized flavor that comes from the deeply golden crust.  You can’t fake this rich flavor any other way.  Searing the chuck roasts first also helps protect it from drying out during the long cooking process by sealing in the juices.  Once you sear your meat, you will never cook it any other way!

how long to cook roast in crock pot?

Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours. I suggest checking your beef on the earlier end of the cooking spectrum but don’t be alarmed if it takes another two hours. 

There are many factors when it comes to cooking times – the size and thickness of the beef, the shape/size of your crockpot and your actual slow cooker (they all cook differently!).  

If your beef is not tender, then cook on, it just needs more time.  Even 30 minutes can make the difference between okay crockpot chuck roast and melt-in-your-mouth crockpot chuck roast.

What temp does pot roast fall apart?

.Chuck roast should be cooked to an internal temperature of 190-195 degrees F to be fall apart tender. The high internal temperature allows collagen to break down, making the meat melt in your mouth tender.

You don’t want to cook the chuck roast past 200F, however, because it can become mushy.  Use an instant read meat thermometer to measure the thickest part of the roast or I’m obsessed with my digital probe thermometer. The thermometer allows you to set the desired temperature for each probe and an alarm will set as soon as it reaches the set temperature. 

Note, if you’ve never used a probe thermometer before, you insert the probes into the meat and weave the cables out of the slow cooker.

Do vegetables go on top or bottom in crock pot?

The vegetables are placed on the bottom of the crockpot and the roast is placed on top.  This is so the roast is elevated and not completely covered in liquid or else it will boil.

Does a pot roast need to be covered in liquid?

Don’t be alarmed when the chuck roast isn’t covered by any liquid (or just a little) when you transfer it to the crock pot.  The vegetables will release a substantial amount of liquid which will partially cover the roast by the end of cooking, but not completely.  The pot roast should not be fully covered in liquid because we don’t want it to boil.

Can I Cook on High Heat?

Technically yes, you can cook slow cooker pot roast on high heat, but I would only do this in case of a timing emergency.  Crockpot pot roast should be cooked low and slow for the most tender results, giving enough time for the collagen to break down into gelatin.  If you don’t have enough time to prep the roast in the morning to give it the full 10 hour cook time, then prep it the night before (see instructions) and set your alarm to make the low cook time possible – you will be rewarded with juicy tender results.

Why is my crock pot roast tough?

If your crock pot roast is tough, it is possible you didn’t use a boneless chuck roast, in which cases some cuts of meat will never become fall-apart tender OR more likely, you did not cook your beef long enough.  If your pot roast seems tough, cook on!  It probably needs an additional 1-2 hours if it is close to the end of cooking time. Cook until it easily shreds with a fork. See below on how to make the most tender pot roast.

showing how to serve slow cooker pot roast by adding shredded chuck roast, carrots and potatoes to a white bowl and drizzling with gravy

How do you know when a pot roast is done?

There is no technical way to know when a pot roast is done – but there is an easy way!  You can tell when the pot roast is done because it will easily shred with a fork.  If it isn’t easily pulling away, then it is not done.

Can I Cook roast in the Oven?

Yes, you can cook roast in the oven but I would not use this recipe as written as it has more seasonings than you would need for oven pot roast in which more liquid is evaporated.  For a baked oven pot roast recipe, click HERE.

HOW DO I MAKE TENDER Crockpot pot roast?

There are 5 factors to create the most tender crockpot pot roast:

  • Cut of meat. As previously discussed, you need to set yourself up for success by using the right cut of meat.  If you start out with a lean cut of beef, I cannot guarantee it will be melt-in-your-mouth tender.  Choose a chuck roast that is fresh, bright in color and contains lots of marbling because marbling = flavor and tenderness.
  • Kosher salt.  Seasoning the chuck roast with kosher salt changes the structure of the muscle proteins, opening them up so they can retain more of their own juices.
  • Searing the roast.  Searing the roast creates the Maillard reaction resulting in rich, deep, complex flavor and prevents the surface of the beef from becoming dehydrated.
  • Cooking for long enough.  Many people become frustrated when they check their pot roast and it is not tender.  If this is the case, the roast simply needs more time to cook and tenderize, even 30 more minutes in the slow cooker can make the world of difference between an “okay” roast and a melt-in-your-mouth one. So, if you’re roast isn’t fall apart tender, be patient and roast on!
  • Shred and Soak. This one step will transform your slow cooker pot roast experience!  Once tender, shred your roast into small sections then let it cook on low for 30 minutes.  This allows the rich, flavorful broth to penetrate the meat and for the beef to become more flavorful, juicy and tender.

HELPFUL TIPS TO MAKE the best crock pot ROAST recipe

Here’s a recap of some tips and tricks for flawless, fall apart flavorful slow cooker pot roast:

  • You can use a 3-5 pound chuck roast because there is enough juices/seasoning to accommodate up to 5 pounds.
  • Use boneless beef chuck roast that is thick cut and not rolled and tied with a string.
  • If you use a larger chuck roast, you may need to cut into two portions to fit into your slow cooker. If so, take care you sear all sides of each portion.
  • We are going to add whole, peeled garlic cloves into the crevices of the roast (usually where there is a seam of fat). You don’t have to worry about the roast being too garlicky as leaving the cloves whole allows them to release just the right amount of flavor both into the roast and the juices which makes a fabulous gravy.
  • Don’t skip searing the roast for maximum flavor and juiciness.
  • Use low sodium beef broth and soy sauce, otherwise your pot roast will taste too salty.
  • Don’t be tempted to add more broth/liquid than the recipe calls for.  You will be amazed at the amount of liquid released from the vegetables.  
  • You can swap the potatoes and carrots for other root veggies such as parsnips, turnips, pumpkin, or sweet potatoes.
  • Don’t use Russet potatoes or they will fall apart and turn mealy.
  • Cook on LOW for the most succulent slow cooker pot roast.
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Gravy will thicken upon standing and when refrigerated so whisk in some water before reheating.

Prep ahead crockpot pot roast

  • If you would like to prepare your crockpot chuck roast ahead of time, you can add the vegetables to the crockpot, season and sear the roast, and add all of the remaining ingredients to the crockpot. 
  • Transfer the ceramic slow cooker insert to the refrigerator until ready to cook (up to 24 hours.)
  • When ready to cook, cook according to recipe directions, adding an additional hour to account forth the chill factor.

MAKE AHEAD SLOW COOKER POT ROAST

You can make this slow cooker pot roast in its entirety, up to shredding the beef, then refrigerate it.  The next day simply reheat it, shred, and make the gravy.

  • Cook crockpot pot roast until tender but don’t shred.
  • Remove ceramic insert from slow cooker and let cool to room temperature (for food safety and because it can crack if placed directly in the refrigerator).
  • Refrigerate the beef in the juices up to 24 hours.
  • When ready to heat, skim off the hardened fat if desired.
  • Cook on LOW in the slow cooker for 1-2 hours until warmed through.
  • Shred beef and let soak for 30 minutes. 
  • Prepare gravy per recipe instructions.

HOW DO I STORE slow cooker pot roast recipe?

Once your slow cooker pot roast has cooled to room temperature, you can remove the pot from the slow cooker and put the whole insert (lid on) in the refrigerator.  This works best if you are planning on cooking in advance and reheating in its entirety.

If storing leftovers, transfer pot roast to an airtight container with some of the crockpot juices to keep the meat moist and transfer to the refrigerator.  Refrigerate the gravy in a separate airtight container.

showing how to season the best crock pot roast with basil, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper

HOW LONG DOES crock pot Chuck roast last IN THE REFRIGERATOR?

When stored correctly in an airtight container, cooked chuck roast will keep fresh for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.  You can even eat it straight from the fridge!

HOW DO I REHEAT easy crock pot recipe?

Easy crock pot roast reheats beautifully!  Just be aware that the gravy will thicken significantly in the refrigerator, but will thin as it is reheated.

  • Microwave:  For smaller batches or individual servings, transfer pot roast and some gravy to a microwave-safe dish, cover with a microwave-safe lid or paper towel.  Microwave for 2 minutes, stir, then continue to microwave for 30-second intervals, if needed.
  • Stove:  Alternatively, you can reheat large batches on the stove over medium low heat, stirring occasionally until the beef is heated through. You can add gravy directly to the chuck roast, or heat it separately on the stove over medium-low heat.
  • Crockpot:  If you have stored your pot roast in the slow cooker, then place the ceramic insert back into your crockpot and heat on low for 1-2 hours.

CAN I FREEZE SLOW COOKER pot roast?

You can freeze cooked pot roast without the carrots and potatoes, as these vegetables will become mushy when frozen. 

To freeze slow cooker pot roast:

  • Let shredded pot roast cool completely.
  • Transfer beef to an air-tight container or a heavy-duty freezer bag along with some of the juices (to keep it juicy).  You can also portion into many smaller container/bags.
  • Squeeze out any excess air to prevent freezer burn.
  • Label and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • When ready to eat, thaw pot roast in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Reheat in the slow cooker, microwave or stove.

The gravy also freezes well.  You can either freeze it with the shredded beef instead of the cooking liquid or freeze it separately in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to three months.

WHAT GOES WELL WITH crock pot chuck roast recipe?

This crock pot chuck roast recipe can be served straight out of the slow cooker with just a simple green salad and some fruit but if you are looking for additional sides, we love it with:  

How to use leftover crock pot roast recipe

This easy crockpot pot roast is a chameleon when it comes to leftovers. Here are just a few ideas, but don’t let these limit your imagination!

  • Roast Beef Melts:  Butter the outsides of two slices of sturdy bread.  Spread mayonnaise and some steak sauce or barbecue sauce on the inside of the bread.  Top one side of the bread with shredded pot roast, followed by provolone.  Melt some butter in a nonstick skillet and grill the sandwich on both sides until the cheese is melty and the bread is crispy.
  • Italian Beef Sandwiches:  the beef won’t have the same tanginess as traditional Italian Beef Sandwiches but you can still load them with all of the fixings.  Split hoagie buns and place them cut side up on a baking sheet.  Toast them at 400 degrees F for 5 minutes.  Top bottom side of buns with pot roast, followed by desired toppings (pepperoncini, roasted bell peppers, giardiniera etc.), followed by provolone cheese. Return baking tray to the oven (leaving both top and bottoms cut side up) and bake at 400 degrees F for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is completely melted. Serve immediately.
  • Shepherd’s Pie:  replace the ground beef in this recipe with shredded crockpot roast.  Stir into the gravy after it is thickened. 
  • Beef Stroganoff:  prepare Beef Stroganoff on the stove and don’t transfer gravy to slow cooker. Stir in crockpot pot roast into the finished gravy, adding additional broth or water to thin if needed.
  • Fajitas: heat one tablespoon olive oil to a large cast iron skillet and heat over medium high heat. Once very hot, add 3 sliced bell peppers (any color), ½ thinly sliced red onion, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 tsp EACH ground cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder -optional for heat. Sauté for 3-4 minutes or until crisp-tender.  Stir in ½ tablespoon lime juice.  Assemble fajitas by layering tortillas with cheese (optional), warmed pot roast, bell peppers and desired toppings.
  • Soup:  replace the protein in any of your favorite soup recipes with shredded pot roast.  It would be delicious in: BBQ “Chicken Chili, Caldo de “Pollo,” “Chicken” Corn Chowder, Salsa Verde Tortilla Soup, Crockpot Chili, Italian Vegetable Soup, Loaded Zuppa Toscana, Philly Cheesesteak Soup.
  • Pasta:  replace the protein in any of your favorite pasta recipes with shredded pot roast.  It would be tasty in: Bolognese Sauce, Buffalo Mac and Cheese, Cheesy Tortellini Al Forno, Italian “Chicken” Orzo Pasta, Sun-Dried Tomato Fettuccine, Mushroom Orzo in Asiago Cream Sauce, Rigatoni in Tomato Cream Sauce.
  • Nachos:  Top your favorite cheesy chips with shredded pot roast and all the toppings – pepperoncini, Giardiniera, sour cream, green onions, jalapenos, etc.
  • Mexican Favorites:  crockpot pot roast is fabulous in all your favorite Mexican foods as is, or spiced up with some enchilada sauce or salsa verde.  Try it in enchiladas, burritos, burrito bowls, tacos, quesadillas, etc.
  • Baked Potatoes: pile beef on baked potatoes with cheese, sour cream, green onions and bacon or twice baked potatoes.  

up close of a bowl of best crock pot pot roast made with chuck roast, carrots and potatoes

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Crockpot Pot Roast

This Crockpot pot roast recipe is as good as it gets – no bland pot roast here! It is succulent, hearty, classic comfort food at its finest. It also just happens to be one of the easiest, juiciest, most flavorful complete dinners ever - AND the slow cooker does all the work! The crockpot chuck roast becomes incredibly fall-apart tender and SO flavorful from cooking low and slow all day as it drinks up all that brothy, herb infused goodness; and let’s not forget the veggies! The potatoes and carrots emerge fork tender and dripping with flavor that that is purely intoxicating. The luscious, rich gravy (no sad watery gray here!) is made from the ridiculously flavorful juices and elevates this slow cooker pot roast recipe to sensational new heights. I’ve included some tips and tricks make the BEST crock pot roast recipe as well as how to make ahead, how to freeze and fun ways to use leftovers – should you be so lucky.
Servings: 6 -8 servings
Total Time: 9 hrs 20 mins
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 9 hrs

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Ingredients

Roast

  • 3-5 pounds boneless chuck roast trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tsp EACH onion powder, garlic powder, pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Vegetable oil
  • 6 cloves garlic peeled

Crockpot Liquid

Gravy

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 cups beef broth from slow cooker

Instructions

Roast

  • Pat roast dry and sprinkle evenly all over with kosher salt, onion powder, garlic powder and pepper and rub into roast. Set aside.
  • Prepare vegetables and add to the bottom of a lightly greased 6 qt. (or larger) slow cooker.
  • Heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large cast iron skillet. Using tongs, sear meat on all sides until browned and place on top of vegetables in the crockpot. Add whole garlic cloves into the crevices of the roast (on the top and bottom usually where there is a seam of fat).
  • Whisk together all of the remaining roast ingredients in a medium bowl and pour over roast and vegetables. It won’t seem like very much liquid but the vegetables will release a lot of liquid as they cook.
  • Cook on low for 8-10 hours (RECOMMENDED) or on high for 4-6 hours OR until roast is tender.
  • Once tender, shred roast into small pieces and continue to cook on low for 20-30 minutes for the roast to absorb juices.

Gravy

  • Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle in ¼ cup flour and whisk to create a roux. Cook over medium heat, while whisking, until lightly browned, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Slowly stir in 2 ½ cups juices/broth from slow cooker (excess grease removed, see post) and bring the gravy to a simmer until thickened. Add additional broth if needed to thin. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper (although it probably won’t need it!)

Notes

Can I Cook roast in the Oven?

Yes, you can cook roast in the oven but I would not use this recipe as written as it has more seasonings than you would need for oven pot roast in which more liquid is evaporated.  For a baked oven pot roast recipe, click HERE.

HELPFUL TIPS and TRICKS

Here's a recap of some tips and tricks for flawless, fall apart flavorful slow cooker pot roast:
  • You can use a 3-5 pound chuck roast because there is enough juices/seasoning to accommodate up to 5 pounds.
  • Use boneless beef chuck roast that is thick cut and not rolled and tied with a string.
  • If you use a larger chuck roast, you may need to cut into two portions to fit into your slow cooker. If so, take care you sear all sides of each portion.
  • We are going to add whole, peeled garlic cloves into the crevices of the roast (usually where there is a seam of fat). You don’t have to worry about the roast being too garlicky as leaving the cloves whole allows them to release just the right amount of flavor both into the roast and the juices which makes a fabulous gravy.
  • Don’t skip searing the roast for maximum flavor and juiciness.
  • Use low sodium beef broth and soy sauce, otherwise your pot roast will taste too salty.
  • Don’t be tempted to add more broth/liquid than the recipe calls for.  You will be amazed at the amount of liquid released from the vegetables.  
  • You can swap the potatoes and carrots for other root veggies such as parsnips, turnips, pumpkin, or sweet potatoes.
  • Don’t use Russet potatoes or they will fall apart and turn mealy.
  • Cook on LOW for the most succulent slow cooker pot roast.
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Gravy will thicken upon standing and when refrigerated so whisk in some water before reheating.

Prep ahead

  • If you would like to prepare your crockpot chuck roast ahead of time, you can add the vegetables to the crockpot, season and sear the roast, and add all of the remaining ingredients to the crockpot. 
  • Transfer the ceramic slow cooker insert to the refrigerator until ready to cook (up to 24 hours.)
  • When ready to cook, cook according to recipe directions, adding an additional hour to account forth the chill factor.

MAKE AHEAD

You can make this slow cooker pot roast in its entirety, up to shredding the beef, then refrigerate it.  The next day simply reheat it, shred, and make the gravy.
  • Cook crockpot pot roast until tender but don’t shred.
  • Remove ceramic insert from slow cooker and let cool to room temperature (for food safety and because it can crack if placed directly in the refrigerator).
  • Refrigerate the beef in the juices up to 24 hours.
  • When ready to heat, skim off the hardened fat if desired.
  • Cook on LOW in the slow cooker for 1-2 hours until warmed through.
  • Shred beef and let soak for 30 minutes. 
  • Prepare gravy per recipe instructions.

STORAGE

Once your slow cooker pot roast has cooled to room temperature, you can remove the pot from the slow cooker and put the whole insert (lid on) in the refrigerator.  This works best if you are planning on cooking in advance and reheating in its entirety.
If storing leftovers, transfer pot roast to an airtight container with some of the crockpot juices to keep the meat moist and transfer to the refrigerator.  Refrigerate the gravy in a separate airtight container.
When stored correctly in an airtight container, cooked chuck roast will keep fresh for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.  You can even eat it straight from the fridge!

HOW TO REHEAT

Easy crock pot roast reheats beautifully!  Just be aware that the gravy will thicken significantly in the refrigerator, but will thin as it is reheated.
  • Microwave:  For smaller batches or individual servings, transfer pot roast and some gravy to a microwave-safe dish, cover with a microwave-safe lid or paper towel.  Microwave for 2 minutes, stir, then continue to microwave for 30-second intervals, if needed.
  • Stove:  Alternatively, you can reheat large batches on the stove over medium low heat, stirring occasionally until the beef is heated through. You can add gravy directly to the chuck roast, or heat it separately on the stove over medium-low heat.
  • Crockpot:  If you have stored your pot roast in the slow cooker, then place the ceramic insert back into your crockpot and heat on low for 1-2 hours.

How to freeze

You can freeze cooked pot roast without the carrots and potatoes, as these vegetables will become mushy when frozen.   To freeze slow cooker pot roast:
  • Let shredded pot roast cool completely.
  • Transfer beef to an air-tight container or a heavy-duty freezer bag along with some of the juices (to keep it juicy).  You can also portion into many smaller container/bags.
  • Squeeze out any excess air to prevent freezer burn.
  • Label and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • When ready to eat, thaw pot roast in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Reheat in the slow cooker, microwave or stove.

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28 Comments

  1. Mary says

    This is the most amazing article for beef roast! All of the information you give guarantees a perfect roast…if instructions are followed completely. Thank you for all the thought and work you put into all your recipes!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment Mary! I’m so pleased you’re finding my posts helpful! I hope you absolutely love this pot roast!

  2. Shayna says

    Hi! I love your recipes and this one looks delish I’m wondering if I could just leave the potatoes out and only use carrots? Or add onions? Or celery? I thought about making it for Hanukkah dinner with latkes, so no need for the potatoes. Thank you!

    • Jen says

      Great question! Yes, you can leave the potatoes out but you will want to replace them with an equal amount carrots and/or celery. I wouldn’t add onion though unless you omit the dried onions. Enjoy!

      • MaryAnn Coy says

        You could add a lb of parsnips to sub for the potatoes. Latkes are a great idea, with pot roast gravy? Or applesauce? You could leave out the dried onions and add 2-3 Medium onions, that is the amount I use. 3 big ribs of celery would be about right. My Mother always stuck ½ dozen whole cloves into an onion piece. It adds a nice flavor. Have a Joyous Hanukkah!

        • Jen says

          Thank you so much for the helpful tips MaryAnn! xo

  3. Kurt Wiesenberger says

    Fantastic!!! Most delicious and complex flavors I have every experienced with a pot roast dish. Well done!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Kurt for making my day! I am thrilled you loved the pot roast so much!

  4. Rene says

    As older empty nesters, I decided to try your pot roast for Christmas dinner for my husband and I. I omitted the onion flake and added an onion and a package of fresh mushrooms because I had them on hand. The roast and veggies were such wonderful down home comfort food. Thank you so much for the recipe and please know that you were an honored guest at our Christmas table.

    • Jen says

      Aw, thank you so much Rene for your thoughtful comment! I’m so pleased you loved the roast and I am honored to have been represented! Merry Christmas!

  5. Layne says

    So delicious and tender! It was devoured by all!

    • Jen says

      Yassss! Thank you so much Layne, I love hearing that! xoxo

  6. Jeannie says

    This was delicious! My husband, my son, and I all loved it. Very flavorful. Very tender. I had run out of garlic cloves, but made no other changes to the ingredients. I, also, appreciated the information you shared in addition to the recipe. I will be looking at more of your Carlsbad Cravings recipes.

    • Jen says

      Welcome to my site Jeannie! I’m so pleased you loved this Crockpot Pot Roast! I hope you enjoy exploring my site and hopefully find many new favorites!

  7. Liz says

    Hi Jen,

    I just had to tell you that this pot roast is so delicious and the gravy is amazing. I’ve never had a pot roast so flavorful – so, so good! Thank you for all your recipes and tips. I learn something from you all the time!

    • Jen says

      Thank you for your awesome comment Liz! I’m thrilled this was the most flavorful roast you’ve ever had and that you find my tips and tricks helpful!

  8. Connie says

    Thank you so much, Jen for the fantastic Pot Roast recipe. My husband and our friend absolutely loved it! It was so moist and the gravy was extra good.

    • Jen says

      You’re so welcome Connie, I’m so pleased it was a hit! Thanks for taking the time to comment and to make so many of my recipes!

  9. Heather in MO says

    I really liked this recipe! I omitted the 1/2 tsp salt from the crockpot liquid and it was still plenty flavorful for my family. Also used a rump roast. This will be my go-to recipe from now on. Thank you!

    • Jen says

      Thank you for the awesome review Heather! I’m so pleased it will be on repeat!

  10. Jillian says

    This is THE best pot roast recipe ever! I have been meaning to write a review for a while now but just wanted to say thank you for always having such wonderful recipes that I can always count on! I love how easy this recipe seems yet tastes so special – actually, last christmas we even had it as part of our christmas dinner and will continue to do so as everyone (even our picky eaters) raved over it so thank you! This weekend my husband and I are trying your pho recipe and we are both so excited 🙂

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment Jillian! I am thrilled you love this Crockpot Pot Roast so much that it will be a repeat at Christmas – what an honor! Thank you for making my recipes, I hope you loved the pho!

  11. Stephanie says

    THIS slow cooker pot roast was unbelievably good! Most slow cooker pot roast tastes like bland swamp meat but you created a recipe that took little effort & delivered huge flavor. I had a 5lb / 2 roast package from Costco, squished both in and using the second roast & leftover thickened gravy for a shepherds pie later in week. I seared both in cast iron skillet and poured a little of the broth in to deglaze the fond and add to slow cooker. Our family just loves your recipes, we make them at least 3 times a week, seriously! Thank you.

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Stephanie! My goal was to create a roast that didn’t taste like bland swamp meat 🙂 because I’ve definitely experienced the same thing! I’m so pleased it exceeded your expectations and the whole family loved it! I am honored you are always making my recipes!

  12. Taylor says

    Can I leave out the potatoes and just use carrots and make mashed potatoes? We live in Japan and they only have russet potatoes.

    • Jen says

      Yes! I would use extra carrots though because the seasonings are meant for both carrots and potatoes (which dilute the flavor) otherwise it might be too strong. Enjoy!

  13. Marla says

    I have been searching high and low for a crockpot roast that comes out with flavor and this recipe did not disappoint!. Everything was delicious and the whole family went back for seconds and thirds. The gravy is easy, flavorful and adds so much to the dish. This will be my go to recipe. Thank you!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment Marla! I am so pleased this crockpot roast was a huge hit and a new repeat favorite!

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